Spanish flyways; Friends in low places; So long, friend

"David plays the talk game," says Bill Miller, a political consultant in Austin. Hughes, when approached by a reporter, typically will ask for questions in writing and return the answers in the same form.

In contrast, Beckwith, who had served as a spokesman for former Vice President Dan Quayle, is more comfortable shooting from the hip. He uses his time with reporters to cajole information about their other sources and spin their stories, even if that means affecting collegiality with the press.

"I saw at the outset there were stylistic differences," Miller says. "I just didn't think it would happen so fast."

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